Left your student home empty? Find out your legal obligations and where you can go for support if you're struggling to pay your bills, can't collect your belongings, or need to find someone to take over your tenancy.
If there’s currently no-one living in your rented home, you have a legal obligation to let your landlord know. This is because:
If you moved back home during lockdown and have remained there, please email/text your landlord to let them know if you haven’t already done so. This is important for safety and security reasons. If they are asking you for actions that you cannot take due to lockdown or financial reasons, we recommend you ask us for guidance.
Yes. If your bills are not included in your utilities, then you have an obligation to split any utilities equally with all the other tenants, regardless of who is staying in the house. This is because:
If you have fallen behind on your bills, we encourage you to get some advice. We are seeing cases of students losing their security deposits as collections fees are added to bills. In some cases, students still owe money after losing their deposits and they are being threatened with legal action. If you take action now, you can avoid this happening to you, even if you don't have the funds to pay right now.
Let your housemates know what your situation is and contact the utilities companies to let them know, too. You can ask them to make smaller monthly payments until your financial situation improves. They are usually very understanding and often have helpful information on this topic on their websites, including how to contact them about it.
You can ask for an advice appointment if you need some guidance about how to communicate with your utilities companies or housemates regarding this issue. We can offer you an individual/group Zoom appointment to discuss any other worries you might have.
If you are having financial problems, you can contact the University’s Financial Wellbeing team to ask for guidance on managing your debts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling + 44 (0) 1784 276109 /414633 to ask for an appointment. You can also find advice and tips on their ‘Managing Your Money’ page.
If you’re not moving back in, we strongly recommend you make arrangements to pick your belongings up ASAP (making sure to follow social distancing guidelines). We are seeing cases of students’ belongings getting ruined and mould forming in unventilated properties. We are also seeing a few cases of reckless landlords moving, damaging, and discarding students’ belongings. If this has happened to you, we recommend you get legal advice.
You can get free legal advice from University of London Housing Services by asking them for an appointment. You can also email them or call 0207 862 8880 with your query. If you email, you must do so via your University account.
You can discuss the possibility of subletting with your housemates and landlord, but you will need their written permission to avoid problems. You can also look for a replacement tenant to take over your contract if you have decided to commute in September. However, please remember that there is a lot of competition with so many free rooms, so it’s possible that you won’t find someone. If you do have written permission from your housemates and landlord to advertise your room, then you can join our RHSUHouseMating Facebook group.
At our Advice Centre, we see every day that problems start to shrink as soon as you deal with them. We know that lockdown has made complicated things, but some things can’t wait! The good news is that we are here all summer to guide and support you through it all. If you just want to speak to a human for some advice, ask us for a phone or Zoom appointment.
We appreciate the volume of information being sent your way could be quite overwhelming, so we've created a Coronavirus Hub to give you quick links to key advice, guidance, and our latest news updates. With dedicated pages for housing, academic, and welfare advice, as well as links to government advice and College FAQs, it's your one-stop shop for all the vital information during this time.
The Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service for all students here at Royal Holloway. Our friendly, experienced and professional staff will provide a listening ear and offer general and specialist advice. We’re here to support you with a whole range of issues, big and small, and if we’re not the best people to help you with a particular issue, we’ll point you in the right direction.
Email us at email@example.com with any questions or to ask for a phone appointment
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